CRIME Police nab suspects in scrap metal thefts
All three suspects were arraigned Monday in municipal court.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Not everyone watched the Super Bowl.
Acting on an anonymous tip Sunday evening, Patrolmen John Hull II and Brian Booksing set up surveillance at Northern State Metals on Innovation Place. The officers were told that scrap would be stolen by a guy named Chuck.
The tipster said money was needed to post bail for a man arrested by Struthers police and charged with stealing scrap.
Around 7:30 p.m., the officers saw a brown 1989 Pontiac 6000 backed up to a steel hopper and two women, later identified as Ashley Phillips and Vicki Steinbeiser, standing between two hoppers filled with extruded aluminum. They were under the roof of the loading dock.
Phillips, 18, of Northwood Avenue, and Steinbeiser, 35, of State Street, Struthers, were handcuffed and charged with breaking and entering. They told police that they were there alone.
The officers, though, called for "Chuck" to come out of the hopper with his hands up. Then they heard movement in the hopper and saw two hands raise up over the top.
Charles Spencer, 36, of Pasadena Avenue climbed out. He, too, was charged with breaking and entering. He also was served with outstanding warrants from Struthers and Portage County, both for failure to appear on drug paraphernalia charges.
Spencer first gave police a Social Security number that began with 460 and said he was born in Youngstown. Hull noted that 460 is designated for Texas Social Security numbers.
Booksing said he remembered that he'd given Spencer a citation Jan. 9 for expired plates and driving under suspension and retrieved a copy from his cruiser. The name on the citation was Garry Spencer.
The citation was reissued for Charles Spencer and a new charge of falsification to avoid a citation was added. A warrant had already been issued for failure to appear on the traffic charges filed in Garry Spencer's name and a birth date of June 17, 1970. Charles Spencer's birth date is Sept. 26, 1968.
In the Pontiac's trunk, police found several large pieces of extruded aluminum.
Spencer, Phillips and Steinbeiser were booked into the county jail overnight and appeared for arraignment Monday in municipal court. Judge Elizabeth A. Kobly set Spencer's bond at $30,000; Phillips and Steinbeiser each received a $15,000 bond.
All are scheduled to be back in court Feb. 16 for a preliminary hearing.